Because in the months since those students got their acceptance letters, many colleges have cut programs and increased spending.

John W. Schoen of NBC News reports.

College students face another round of sticker shock

As college acceptance letters go out in the next few weeks, prospective students and their parents are in for another round of sticker shock.

And while tuition costs keep rising, the roughly three out of every four students headed to state colleges and universities in the fall may not find all of the courses and services they sampled on their college tour.

Faced with continued budget cuts at the state and federal level, state universities continue to raise tuition and cut offerings, according to a recent analysis by the Center of Budget Policy and Priorities.

On average, states are now spending more than $2,500 less per student than they did five years ago, when the Great Recession blew a large hole in most state budgets.

That 28 percent spending cut has forced an average tuition increase of $1,850 per student over the same period. It’s also forced schools to continue to look for ways to cut back, according to Phil Oliff, a CBPP policy analyst who prepared the report.

“They’ve eliminated faculty positions and increased class sizes, frozen staff salaries and instituted furloughs, cut course offerings and even entire departments, closed down computer labs and cut library services, among other cost-saving actions,” Oliff said.

In the last year alone, the total “sticker price” of a four-year public degree has risen a little over 4 percent to $17,860 for in-state students and $30,911 for those from out-of-state, according to the College Board. A private four-year degree, on average, costs nearly $40,000.